One of the easiest ways to access your car’s health and keep car expenses under control is to have your own Bluetooth OBD2 scanner! There are many great scanners on the market. And this time our car experts have compared two popular options: Carly and BlueDriver.
With the right scan tool, you can save up to $500 per year on car repairs and maintenance! And the best part is that you can do all of it without relying on a car technician.
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Bluetooth OBD2 scanners are extremely easy to use since they don’t require much equipment and allow you to access your car’s information from your phone. And most are in a price range that is affordable for your average car owner.
Our expert technicians have compared two popular alternatives for Bluetooth OBD2 scanners: Carly and BlueDriver. Below, we will break down every feature that each scanner offers, and help you decide which is the best OBD2 scanner for you.
Comparison Overview of Carly vs. Bluedriver
Even though both options fall within the same category of Bluetooth OBD2 scanners, they offer different features.
Additionally, there are some features that are only available for certain models. For example, in the case of Carly’s advanced features, they are only compatible with certain car brands.*
In the table below you can see a comparison of Carly and BlueDriver. We have defined the “Best Value” based on the number of features offered for the price.
+ yearly license for premium
features > $21,99
price for the scanner
|Portability & ease of use|
|Portability & ease of use||5/5||5/5|
|OBD diagnostics & live data (engine only)|
|OBD diagnostics & live data (engine only)||✔||✔|
|In-depth diagnostics (manufacturer-level)|
|In-depth diagnostics (manufacturer-level)||✔ *||✔ *|
|Car coding||✔ *||❌|
|Used car check|
|Used car check||✔ *||❌|
|Maintenance features||✔ *||BASIC|
✔ Quick response / response in max 72h
|Device||OBD2 device with lifetime warranty||Device with limited warranty|
|Car brands||Cars with OBD2 port (* advanced features only for core brands)||Cars with OBD2 port|
Now let’s dive deeper into each individual category and compare which is the best Bluetooth OBD2 scanner.
Reading and clearing OBD2 engine fault codes
With both Carly and BlueDriver OBD2 scanners, you can read out your car’s fault codes. (These are also called error or OBD2 codes).
Reading fault codes is extremely useful in order to prevent smaller issues from becoming expensive damages. For example, it is possible to learn about engine issues before the “check-engine light” comes on.
Additionally, once you fix the faults, you can clear them out from your car’s system. Clearing the fault codes is also possible with both the Carly and BlueDriver scanner.
Winner: Both the Carly and BlueDriver OBD2 scanner rank equally for reading and clearing engine-related fault codes.
Typically, engine-related problems are the most critical, since they can become severe and expensive. However, there are also other crucial systems that require attention. Let’s continue and see how Carly and BlueDriver perform for reading other systems.
Manufacturer-level scanning of other systems (ABS, Airbags, Multimedia, etc)
There are many diagnostic tools that help provide engine-level information. However, most of them leave out other important systems such as ABS, Airbag, Climate Control, etc. These systems should be checked regularly as well since they enhance your driving experience and/or safety.
Luckily, both BlueDriver and Carly offer diagnostics for different systems in your vehicle.
Since every car has unique components, only certain car brands are compatible with Carly’s in-depth diagnostic feature. These include BMW, VW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Mini, Skoda, Toyota, and Renault. Here you can find out if your car model supports this feature!
BlueDriver’s in-depth diagnostics are also only compatible with certain car brands. These include GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Nissan.
Winner: If you want to have full access to detailed information on your car’s various systems, both Bluetooth OBD2 scanners will be a great tool for you!
Depending on your country and state, emissions tests are required by law. Some places require these tests every 1 or 2 years. Emissions tests help determine the level of pollutants that are emitted from your motor’s exhaust.
If your car’s exhaust is emitting too many pollutants it can also be a sign that some parts may need maintenance. For example, your car may have a loose gas cap, or the OBD emission components are malfunctioning.
If you fail an emissions test in the USA, the Department of Motor Vehicles can ban you from legally driving your car until it gets repaired. However, with OBD2 scanners you can easily avoid this scenario.
Using your OBD2 scanner you can run an emissions test on your own first. This will help you check if there are issues that need to be fixed before the official inspection.
With both Carly and BlueDriver, you can perform emissions checks with the free versions of their apps. This feature is supported by all car brands.
Winner: An emissions check for free? Both scanners take the win. However, since Carly’s scanner is more affordable than the BlueDriver scanner, we will give more points to Carly in this round!
Besides diagnostics, there are many other things that you can perform with certain OBD2 scanners. One example is car coding!
There are many features about your car that are automatically set up in a certain way by the manufacturer. Luckily, with an OBD2 scanner, you can change these features to personalize your car!
For example, you can code the way that your car’s welcome lights brighten up. You can also deactivate the Start/Stop system, or activate other features.
With the Carly OBD2 scanner and app you can customize hundreds of features on your car. However, since every car is uniquely built, this feature is only compatible with certain car models.
Winner: Unfortunately BlueDriver does not offer any coding features. Therefore, Carly is the best OBD2 scanner in this category!
Who wouldn’t want additional features to be included in the price? Before purchasing your OBD2 scanner, make sure you research everything that is included with the OBD2 scanner! Some vehicle scan tools offer many more features that will enhance your experience.
Bluedriver’s Additional Features
In the case of BlueDriver, the app offers extra features such as “Service”. With this feature, you can keep your car expenses under control and carry out your own maintenance. BlueDriver helps you carry out maintenance. However, the available step-by-step guides are only limited to oil resets, TPMS resets, and battery registration.
Moreover, BlueDriver lets you track the live parameters of your car. In addition, you can also save PDF repair reports of the scans of your car, or live data that you previously tracked. Finally, you can also get BlueDriver gloves and mechanics tools. However, these cost extra.
Carly’s Additional Features
In the case of Carly, the app also offers additional features beyond diagnostics and coding. With the “used car check” feature, you can detect mileage fraud in cars and avoid used car scams from your iOS or Android phone.
In addition, if you want to save even more money on car maintenance, Carly offers a step-by-step guide for performing basic car services on your own. Carly’s offers more maintenance features than BlueDriver. They include the reset of transmission values, replacement of NOx filters, checking DPFs values, parking brake resets, and more.
Usually, these services are done at auto repair shops for a price. However, the truth is that they are easy enough to perform on your own and can help you save a lot!
Moreover, with Carly, you can also save PDF reports about your car’s diagnostics reports and repairs that you have performed. This way you have organized documentation on your car’s history if a car technician requests it.
Finally, if you are a car enthusiast you will have access to real-time data from your car with Carly’s “live data” feature. Some examples of live data include oil temperature and turbo boost pressure.
Winner: Depending on which of the features you want to have, the winner in this category will vary. If you are interested in diagnostics, maintenance, and live data, both options will work perfectly. However, if you want additional features such as coding, the used car check, and even more maintenance support, the winner is Carly!
Ease of Use (OBD scanner + App)
The best part about Bluetooth OBD2 scanners is their portability and convenience. They are small enough to fit in your pocket and don’t require additional cables or complex equipment.
In the case of Carly and BlueDriver, both Bluetooth OBD2 scanners are easy to plug into vehicles. Additionally, they are also very easy to connect to their mobile application via Bluetooth.
Furthermore, when it comes to performing a diagnostics check and reading out fault codes, both BlueDriver and Carly make the severity of the issues easy to understand. In both applications, color coding is used to indicate the different levels of severity.
Additionally, both apps have a friendly user interface and are easy to navigate. They can be used by beginners or professionals to get engine-level data. However, if you are a car enthusiast or like conducting your own car maintenance, Carly is the way to go. With Carly, you can enjoy additional features beyond diagnostics, such as car coding and DIY maintenance.
Winner: BlueDriver and Carly’s scanner and app are easy to use, so for that category, they both score equally! However, considering all of Carly’s advanced features, we’ll give more points to Carly since car enthusiasts will get more features out of the product!
Both scanners work with cars that have OBD2 ports. OBD2 is the most advanced version of the OBD system. Before purchasing a scanner make sure that your car model is compatible with either option.
Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner
The BlueDriver scanner is compatible with gasoline and diesel cars and light trucks built after 1996 in the U.S.A or Canada.
However, outside of North America, the scanner is only compatible with gas-powered vehicles built after 2001. It is also compatible with diesel vehicles, but only if the vehicle was manufactured after 2004.
Regarding the Carly scanner, if your car was built in 2001 or later, all the basic features (engine check, emissions check, live data) should work for you and for almost all car brands in the world.
However, if you own a car from a brand that is not BMW and was built before 2001, you can easily use the Carly scanner with an OBD1 cable to access the advanced features.
One exception to this is BMW vehicles. If you have a BMW built from 1996 onwards, the Carly scanner will be completely compatible with your car.
Additionally, Carly supports advanced features for BMW, Mini, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Renault, Porsche, Toyota, or Lexus. The features your car supports depend on the model, build year, hardware, and software in the car.
Both BlueDriver and Carly have their own scanning devices that you need in order to pair with their free apps. Luckily, both apps from Carly and BlueDriver are compatible with Android and iOS systems.
Winner: Both BlueDriver and Carly score very close in this category since their scanners are compatible with many car brands in the world! However, we will give more points to Carly, since the scanner can be used on gasoline and diesel cars manufactured since 2001 everywhere in the world.
Before purchasing the scanner we recommend that you ensure that it is compatible with your car. If you are interested in the Carly scanner, you can check the features that are available for your car model here!
Customer Support and Warranty
When you purchase an OBD2 scanner, it is important to consider the additional support and conditions that are included.
This way you will be able to replace your device in case of a defect, or contact customer service when you need help.
Regarding BlueDriver, you will get a 1-year guarantee for your OBD2 scanner. This includes the replacement of the device in case there is an issue with it.
For Carly, you will get a lifetime warranty on the OBD2 scanner, meaning if there are any defects you would get a free replacement.
Additionally, Carly’s customer support is available in case you have questions or need help. You can contact customer support via the website and will receive a response within 72-hours.
Winner: We consider the warranty a very important part of your experience. Therefore, Carly takes first place in this round.
Pricing & Value for Money
Both BlueDriver and Carly require you to get their OBD2 device which works with their free app. For Carly, the basic features come for free, while advanced features are only included with the app license. For BlueDriver, there is no premium version of the app, only a free version. However, the scanner is more expensive.
The BlueDriver scanner costs $99.95 and then all the features can be used for free — as long as they are compatible with your car model and available in your country.
The Carly scanner (called the Carly Universal Adapter) costs $69.90 + shipping. The basic features (engine check, emissions check, and live data) can be used for free in the Carly app.
To use advanced features such as coding, you will need a license for the app. This yearly cost of the license starts at $21.96/year. The price depends on your car model, and how many car brands you would like to access using the Carly app.
Winner: If you are only interested in the basic features, the cheapest option is Carly! As you would pay less for the OBD2 scanner. And if you choose to get the app license that starts from $21.95 per year, you can access advanced features such as car coding, which are usually only available with professional tools that can cost from $3,000 or more. Therefore, we consider the Carly OBD2 scanner a great deal and an investment you can use throughout your car’s lifetime.
Bottom line: Carly vs. BlueDriver
The Carly and BlueDriver scanners are well-liked by their users! Besides engine-related data, they both provide advanced diagnostics, emissions checks, and live parameters.
These three features are not typically included with other OBD2 scanners, so with either of these scanners, you are getting a good deal.
However, the difference between Carly and BlueDriver lies in the EXTRA features that Carly offers.
With Carly, depending on your car model, you can customize your car using its coding feature! Additionally, you can perform many more maintenance services than with Bluedriver, so you will be able to save money on basic repairs.
And finally, another feature that only Carly offers is the used car check. This feature lets you avoid car scams and detect illegal tampering with a car’s systems.
Usually, to get a scan tool that offers all the features that Carly does, you would need a complex/professional-level one that could cost over a thousand dollars.
So considering all the extra features that Carly offers, it is by far the best choice for OBD2 scanners!